One of the challenges I have in understanding our current problems is finding good data. When I worked, I always said to my colleagues that I was always interested in data rather than opinions when it came to making decisions.
I really liked this Medium article because it took a data driven approach to understanding the problem.
This article and lots of other sources have talked about the importance of social distancing as the only effective measure as an entry tactic to “flatten the curve” so our health care services can keep up with the demand and reduce the fatalities. But because our health care system is so decentralized, we don’t seem to have a government source that can provide credible data on where we are on the curve.
After a lot of searching, I finally found this site: The COVID Tracking Project which has collated data from all the States on where we are on the curve. They make all of the data with references to their sources publicly available.
So being a geek, who has all the time I need, I took this data and put it into a spreadsheet to try and understand better where we are on the curve. I picked the “worst” seven States, Texas, and then California and Washington as they were the two states to see and react to the virus with statewide self-distancing orders. I’ll probably add more States to better understand the problem as it expands across the USA.
To try and understand the limited capacity of our health care system, I found a site that shows the number of ICU beds available by State and another that maps the counties in the USA with no hospital, or no hospital ICU beds.
The results are sobering. I see no evidence that we are flattening the curve. The lack of federal self-distancing regulations, rather than the guidelines released, has allowed the virus to spread throughout the country. The slow implementation of testing does not bode well for any exit strategy
April 23rd: Added New Cases/Day graphs as the move to relax self-distancing and open business grows in strength
May 1st: Changed the spreadsheet to access the data from The COVID Tracking Project automatically via the JSON web query. My spreadsheet is included with the links to the data sources.